This film combines three distinct elements: the first is an interview with the British film-maker Peter Watkins, recorded in Lithuania where Watkins lived for many years in the course of his self imposed exile from Britain. The second is a sequence of drawings of the Lithuanian landscape, some depicting an unusual theme park, Gruto Park, repository of Social Realist sculptures from the post-war era. The third comprises footage of Brighton life, shot by an amateur film enthusiast and deposited in the archives in Brighton. Narkevicius’ construction of the film unites these disparate components, relating sound and image to produce a strangely compelling play between Watkins’ commentary and the imagery on the screen. Peter Watkins and Deimantas Narkevicius share a profound skepticism in relation to images that promise to be authentic representations of history. Independently of each other they have produced films with similar concerns: dismantling the conventional visual rhetoric of historic testimony and searching for a cinematic language that does not subject the history to the forces of ideological assimilation or mass media commodification. —ubuweb
Deimantas Narkevičius is an artist and filmmaker born in 1964 in Utena, currently based in Vilnius. He graduated sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and spent a year in London in 1992/93, which affected his later interest in site-specific art and concern with the concept of place in a broader discursive sense.
Since the late Nineties he mostly works in film and video, experimenting with the film structure and thematizing the weight of subjective memories and personal revisions of the History. As the artist has himself stated a number of times, his films in a certain way are extended sculptures, not only closely adjusted to the physical sites of their installation, but also thematically departing from very specific personal circumstances or experiences. Nevertheless, working in different film formats, often inserting fragments of other media – drawing, found photograph and footage into his films, Narkevičius expands temporal and spatial boundaries of his narratives. With… read more